If you are one of the feline fanatics that incessantly clicks on cat videos and cat memes, take this opportunity to get out of your desk chair and get on the road with this cat-centric story…
Aoshima, an Island of the Japanese area of Ehime, is becoming an international destination for tourists whose curiosity could, well, could kill the proverbial ‘cat’. The few humans living on the island are greatly outnumbered by the feline population and birds have yet to weigh in (but have been rumored to be in talks with powerful lobbyists who might help curb the cat-aclysmic invasion). Cats outnumber humans six to one on the island.
Curled up in unoccupied houses, the cats are seen about, often strutting their stuff in the quiet fishing village.
While spay and neuter activists in the United States have worked hard to convince the responsible American pet owning public to control the population of feral and domestic cats, they have yet to have been seen in Aoshima.
And, were they to visit, they would likely be meowed off the island and would likely be accused of being proponents of genital mutilation. The island doesn’t have a single veterinarian, but animal lovers want to make certain that the cat population is healthy and will not become a health threat to the humans who also inhabit the island.
The immigration status of many of the cats is unknown, but many critics think that they may be ‘undocumented’ and Japanese citizens have started a petition aimed at feline ‘executive amnesty’ measures.
Japan, often known for its cramped living quarters and peculiar oddities little known to the outside world, is also home to cat cafes. The cafes as described by Lonely Planet, “Are exactly as the name suggests. For a cover charge, patrons get a caffeine-n-cat fix, snuggling, romping or just ogling as many as two dozen fluffballs for anywhere up to six hours on end.
Though the concept originated in Taiwan, cat cafes are whoppingly popular in Japan, with 150 of them nationwide.”
Can you say, “Hello, Kitty?”
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